Section 8B. The commissioner of highways or the commissioner of conservation and recreation shall require that any person proposing to bid on any work, excepting the construction, reconstruction, repair or alteration of buildings, to be awarded by the division of highways or by the department of conservation and recreation, respectively, submit a statement under the penalties of perjury setting forth the person's qualifications to perform such work. The commissioner of highways shall require that any person proposing to bid on any such work to be awarded by a municipality under section 34 of chapter 90, submit a statement under the penalties of perjury setting forth the person's qualifications to perform such work. Such statement shall be in such detail and form and shall be submitted at such times as such commissioner may prescribe under rules promulgated by said division or commission, respectively, subject to the requirements of chapter 30A. Such rules may require such information as may be necessary to implement this section and may establish a basis for the classification and maximum capacity rating of bidders which shall determine the class and aggregate amount of work such bidders are qualified to perform. The statement shall set forth, among other matters that may be prescribed by the rules, the proposed bidders' financial resources, proposed bidders' current bonding capacity, proposed bidders' experience, the number and kinds of equipment which proposed bidder has for use on such work, and the number, size and completion dates of other construction jobs, whether in this state or another state, which proposed bidder has under contract. The information contained within such statement, together with other relevant available information and the proposed bidder's past performance on work of a similar nature, may be considered by said division or commission in determining whether the proposed bidder is qualified to perform any specific work for which proposals to bid are invited.
Based on information received and available and on past performance of the proposed bidder on work of a similar nature, each such commissioner, acting through a prequalification committee consisting of engineering personnel of said division or commission, respectively, to be appointed by each such commissioner, shall determine the class and aggregate amount of work that a proposed bidder is qualified to perform, and shall limit a proposed bidder to such class and aggregate amount of work as the proposed bidder may be qualified to perform. Said aggregate amount of work shall not be less than the amount of the bidder's current bonding capacity, as verified to the commissioner's satisfaction, by a surety company incorporated under section 105 of chapter 175, or authorized to do business in the commonwealth under section 106 of said chapter 175, and satisfactory to the commissioner; provided, however, that if there is more than 1 surety company, the surety companies shall be jointly and severally liable. Said division or commission shall limit the bid proposals to be furnished to a proposed bidder to such bidders as are determined by its commissioner to have the classification and capacity rating to perform the work required.
Any such statement filed with either such commissioner by a proposed bidder shall be confidential, and shall be used only by the division of highways or the department of conservation and recreation, as the case may be, in determining the qualifications of such proposed bidder to perform work for said division or commission, or for a municipality under section 34 of chapter 90. No information contained in such statement shall be imparted to any other person without the written consent of said bidder.
If any proposed bidder fails to file the statement required by this section, or if, in the judgment of the commissioner, the proposed bidder is not qualified to carry out the work required under a contract which is proposed to be awarded, the commissioner shall refuse to furnish such proposed bidder with bid proposals for such work and shall reject any bid by such proposed bidder for such work.
Only persons filing the statement required in this section shall be authorized as prime contractors and then only as to the class and aggregate amount of work which their qualifications warrant.
Any bidder qualified as authorized in this section shall be promptly notified by the commissioner.
Any proposed bidder who is aggrieved by any decision or determination of the prequalification committee or the commissioner which affects the bidder's right to bid may file a new application for qualification at any time, or within 15 days after receiving notice of such decision the applicant may request in writing a hearing before an appeal board to reconsider the bidder's application or qualifications. The appeal board in the division of highways shall consist of the commissioner, the associate commissioners and the chief engineer of highways, or their designees, and the appeal board in the department of conservation and recreation shall consist of the commissioner, the associate commissioners and the director or chief engineer of the division involved, or their designees.
Any bidder or proposed bidder who so requests shall be granted a hearing by such appeal board at which the bidder may submit any and all additional information or evidence bearing upon the bidder's finances, current bonding capacity, experience or other qualifications which may be relevant thereto. Such hearing shall be held without delay and the board shall promptly render its decision after taking into consideration all relevant information or evidence submitted relating to the bidder' qualifications. The appeal board may modify, amend or reverse any previous decision of the prequalification committee or the commissioner with respect to the qualification of the applicant or may sustain such previous decision. Such hearing shall be deemed to be an adjudicatory proceeding, and any bidder or proposed bidder who is aggrieved by the decision of the appeal board shall have a right to judicial review under said chapter 30A.
The commissioner of highways or the commissioner of conservation and recreation shall not consider any bid filed with such commissioner by any person for any contract to be awarded by said division or department, respectively, who has not been qualified as required by the rules promulgated by said division or department, and any such bid of any unqualified bidder may be rejected without being opened. No contract shall be awarded to any bidder not qualified to bid on the contract at the time fixed for receiving bids.
Any person, firm or corporation who knowingly and willfully makes, or causes to be made, any false or fraudulent statement in any application for qualification filed with such division or department as required herein shall, upon final conviction, be disqualified from submitting bids on contracts advertised by the division or commission for 1 year following the date of said conviction.
This section shall not apply to any proposed bidder the aggregate amount of whose work with said division of highways or with the department of conservation and recreation, including the amount of the bidder's proposal, is less than $50,000.